While many people would prefer caring for a senior loved one themselves, this option is not for everyone. Many of us have to juggle chores and career-related tasks every day, and squeezing in elderly care responsibilities might not be the best or most practical solution for all parties involved. This is when you turn to professional home care providers to meet and provide your loved ones’ needs.

Whether you’ve been pondering on the idea of a caregiver for some time now or a sudden change in your schedule is urging you to hire one ASAP, you have several options to consider to ensure that you find the best fit.

The Roles and Responsibilities of an In-home Caregiver

For those who are looking to hire an in-home caregiver for the first time, you must know the responsibilities and limitations of the care service provider that you’re about to employ.

The primary role of in-home caregivers is to assist seniors with various daily tasks, which includes grooming, getting dressed, preparing meals and medication,  even minor housekeeping tasks. More importantly, they monitor the physical and health status of the seniors in their care and relay the information to physicians when needed.

But while in-home caregivers are professionally trained seniors, they are not or may not be required to perform complex medical activities. Their primary responsibility is to provide high-quality care to the elderly in the comforts of their home, instead of having them relocate to senior care or assisted living facilities.

Tips for Hiring an In-home Caregiver


1. Type of caregiving needed

One very important thing that anybody looking for an in-home caregiver needs to know is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all service. The elderly require different types of assistance, usually depending on the state of their overall health and well-being.

While some seniors only need help with housekeeping duties and errands, others may want a care provider who can also assist them with ADL’s like bathing and getting out of bed.

If your loved one’s particular case also involves duties like administering medications, providing therapies, or dementia care, look for in-home caregivers qualified to offer those services as well.

2. Cost of caregiver services

The cost of an in-home caregiver’s services generally depends on the extent of help and assistance that your loved ones need. You don’t have to pay for everything out-of-pocket, though; you can use annuities and life insurance policies to cover the part of the expenses.

Ideally, your senior family member has long-term care insurance in place. If they don’t, check if you can use health insurance or Medicare for cases determined to be medically necessary.

3. Where to look for/find caregivers

There are plenty of routes to take when hiring an in-home caregiver.

  • Recommendations – Word of mouth is a reliable way of finding qualified caregivers or a home care staffing agency. Try asking your loved one’s doctor, family members, friends, or support groups if they have a person or agency they can vouch for.
  • Locator services – Thousands of home care staffing agencies operate all over the country. To find one near you, you can use Area Agency on Aging’s free home-care locator service or the National Association for Home Care & Hospice free database listing.
  • Online – For a wider variety of options, check out online elder-care matching services where may in-home care providers post their profiles.

4. Private caregivers vs. agencies

Next comes making the crucial decision of whether to hire an in-home caregiver directly or via a staffing agency. Since they both have their share of pros and cons, you need to weigh your options properly.

Hiring a caregiver on your own is usually less expensive than hiring through an agency, but it involves more work too. You have to conduct interviews, arrange the schedule and job responsibilities, and negotiate a salary. You’ll also have to take care of the administrative work that comes with being an employer and a backup plan for days when your caregiver calls in sick.

If you choose to work with an agency, the agency will do the bulk of the work for you – background screening, hiring, taxes and insurance, and the legal paperwork. Finding the right caregiver for the job can be tough, especially if the need is urgent. Turning to reliable and highly recommended agencies will help you find the right fit in record time.

5. Interview and background check

Whatever hiring option you choose, make sure to get the candidate’s name, address, contact number, and other relevant information. More importantly, find out if the applicant has the right training and attitude for the job.

Should you opt for a private caregiver, don’t forget to ask for references from previous and conduct a thorough background check. When hiring through an agency, ask about their screening process.

Hiring a reliable home-care aide can take plenty of time and effort, but finally finding the person that puts you and your senior family member at ease will make it all worth it in the end.


About the Author

Sarah Keller is the Content Marketing Strategist of A To Z Home Care, a team of professional home care providers based in Phoenix, Arizona that specializes in long-term care for your loved ones. She enjoys riding horses and camping with her friends and family in her spare time.


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